Kansas wasn’t immediately thrilled about “Wayward Son”

By Matthew Brooks

“Carry On My Wayward Son” is the signature hit of Kansas.

The band offered the song as a single. It reached No. 10 on the Top 100 Billboard and later on went gold.

But back in 1976, not everyone in Kansas wasn’t thrilled about it.

It wasn’t the song. It was the fact that it was another song.

According to UCR, there was not a great desire to deal with one more song.

At the time, the band was completing its fourth album, Leftoverture.

The band was also getting ready to travel.

Band member Rich Williams shared what the reaction to the idea of one more song.

“We were going to start packing up and head down to Bogalusa, [La.,] where we’d been recording,” Williams says.

“And Kerry [Livgren], the last day, goes, ‘I’ve got another song.’ ‘Oh, crap!’ We really didn’t want to learn anything else. So he starts playing. ‘Whoa! This has got some promise to it!’ So we learned – just barely learned – it and then we went on to the studio.”

When Kansas realized what it had, the members worked fast to get the new song right.

“So I would imagine that the version of the backing track on the album is probably the first time we got it right. We were learning it as we went, really!” Williams remembers.

Cold

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